South Korea Should Be the One to Improve Ties, Japan's Abe Says

(Bloomberg) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe put the onus on Seoul to mend fraught ties between the two U.S. allies in comments made before heading to China, where he is scheduled to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Abe said Monday the current security situation in East Asia made cooperation with Seoul particularly important. He reiterated the government’s view that South Korean court judgments holding Japanese companies liable for the use of forced labor during the colonial period ran counter to a 1965 treaty that normalized ties between the neighbors.

“Promises made between countries must be respected,” Abe said at his official residence. “I want South Korea to take action, to create an opportunity to build healthy relations between Japan and South Korea.”

The two countries are locked in a range of disputes mostly relating to Japan’s 1910-1945 occupation of the Korean Peninsula. The fallout has damaged trade and tourism ties and threatened to undermine cooperation on dealing with renewed threats from North Korea.

Moon’s government has blamed the Abe administration for the increase in tensions.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.